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Does Migrant Background Matter for Adolescents’ Fertility Preferences? The Latin American 1.5 Generation in Spain

AuthorsKraus, Elisabeth K; Castro Martín, Teresa
KeywordsChild migrants
Fertility preferences
1.5 Generation
Issue Date2018
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
CitationEuropean Journal of Population 34 (3): 277- 312 (2018)
AbstractThis article examines the fertility preferences of Latin American adolescents of the 1.5 generation and their native peers in Spain. We compare their expected age at first birth as well as their expected family size. The fertility preferences of the 1.5 generation are likely to reflect the family values of two different socialization environments as well as the adaptation process to the childbearing norms of the host society. The analysis is based on the Chances Survey, which collected data from 2700 adolescents in secondary schools in Madrid in 2011. Results indicate that fertility timing preferences of Latin American adolescents reflect socialization influences from the society of origin, but also a quick adaptation to the childbearing norms in the host society, since their expected age at first birth is somewhat earlier than that of their Spanish peers but considerably later than that prevailing in their country of origin. The degree of social integration, measured by the number of the respondent’s best friends who were Spanish, seems more important than age at migration for diminishing the gap between Latin Americans and Spaniards. Moreover, higher educational expectations are associated with preferences for postponed entry into parenthood. With regard to family size expectations, we find no significant variation between adolescents of migrant and native origin, confirming the argument that the “two-child norm” currently prevails in both middle- and high-income countries.
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